Gender Identity Idiocy

Before Kaitlin Jenner there was Rachel Levine.

Levine is a biological male who has been transitioning to female over the last decade. Levine is also a medical specialist in eating disorders with nearly thirty years of experience in pediatric psychology.

In 2015, Pennsylvania governor Tom Wolf appointed Dr. Levine as state physician general, explaining that “her” knowledge and expertise is important for placing “equal emphasis on behavioral and physical health issues.”

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Like his anorexic patients, Levine has a disorder caused by feelings that are at odds with his body. But, whereas, Levine treats his patients by encouraging them to accept their bodies and change their feelings, he treats his own disorder by rejecting his body and accepting his feelings (a decision which, no doubt, contributed to his divorce from his wife of 30 years).

Levine fails to see that if he is right about himself, so is the 90-lb teenager who believes she is fat, as well as the man who believes he’s a dog. This is the person who is setting health policy for the state of Pennsylvania.

While the incongruity has been lost on Levine and the governor, it hasn’t on at least one of the Levine’s former patients: “Dr. Levine is sending the wrong message… since I am a diagnosed anorexic but still feel I am fat does this allow for me to continue to lose even more weight or… to seek out surgery to change the way I see myself?”

If only the cognitive dissonance was as readily recognized and called out.

A short while back, “Kaitlin” Jenner was the featured guest on the View. Flanked on the dais with five real women, Jenner looked anything but “one of the girls.” The professional coiffure, make-up, and manicure could not hide the broad shoulders, gnarly hands, and baritone voice. Yet, no one dared question or challenge Jenner about his reality. To the contrary, by all appearances, the liberal hosts fawningly accepted it.

 I am of an age to remember when “gender” was synonymous with biological sex, and public restrooms and personal information forms reflected that physical reality. Today, the determinative factor is not biology, but “identity.” According to the American Psychological Association, gender identity is “one’s sense of oneself as male, female, or transgender.”

In recent years, we have seen this play out with the emergence of “gender-neutral” restrooms in municipal workplaces and on over 150 college campuses across the country. Where such accommodations do not exist, there are laws or court rulings in a growing number of states requiring restroom access based on identity (feelings), not appearance (physiology).

For instance, in 2013, California enacted legislation that allows students in public schools, K-12, to choose which restrooms and locker rooms they use, irrespective of their birth gender. It shouldn’t strain the imagination to see how this will be exploited by the curious and predatory. Evidently, the physical safety of girls is less important than the fragile sensitivities of the sexually confused.

We have also witnessed what signals the end of the male/female check box (and, possibly, the gender question altogether) for personal identification.

The social media giant Facebook now enables users to customize (yes, customize) their gender by offering over 50 categories to choose from. One from the menu of available options is “pangender,” a person who “identifies as a third gender with some combination of both male and female aspects.”

Mark Zuckerberg may have dropped out of Harvard but he hasn’t forgotten what he “learned” about sex ed in elementary school.

The Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS) has been a leading distributor of sex-education material for over fifty years. One of their materials, “Guidelines for Comprehensive Sexuality Education,” is a resource for educators to help K-12 school children “become sexually healthy adults.” Therein, SIECUS states that gender identity “refers to a person’s internal sense of being male, female, or a combination of these.” (Emphasis added.)

The sirens of the “new sexuality” want Johnny to know that “male” and “female” are not binary categories defined by genes and genitalia, but endpoints of a continuum defined by mood and temperament. It’s important that Johnny understand this; his maturity into a sexually healthy adult depends on it.

It’s also important that he not be alarmed should he experience a genderedness change at some time in the future. All of our self-perceptions are subject to change, SIECUS assures, so also our sense of “being male, female, or a combination of these.”

But Johnny also needs to know that when it comes to his sexual orientation, it “cannot be changed by therapy or medicine”; it is “one part of who [he] is.”

So, the key to becoming a sexually healthy adult is for Johnny to accept that a hardwired reality of biology (gender) is a fluid product of feelings, while a romantic feeling (sexual orientation) is a fixed, unalterable fact of life. Check.

One thing’s for sure—if Johnny wasn’t sufficiently confused by the “old” sexuality, the “new” is sure to send his head spinning. And should he experience gender confusion down the road, not to worry; the therapy class is there to help with APA-vetted counselors versed in “cross-sex hormones, gender reassignment surgery, and social and legal transition to the desired gender.”

Lastly, Johnny should be comforted knowing that the APA has downgraded “gender identity disorder” to “gender dysphoria.” They did this to avoid stigmatization and ensure proper treatment for any “distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning” Johnny experiences.

Well, if the sirens are right, and gender is a matter of personal feelings and not physical facts, then people with gender dysphoria should experience less distress and impairment by modifying their body to suit their identity, right?

To find out Dr. Paul McHugh, professor of psychiatry at Johns Hopkins, chronicled the follow-up studies of transgender patients who had undergone sex-change operations.

What he learned was that adults who were sexually reconstructed continued to experience much the same problems they had before with relationships, work, and emotions.

It led Dr. McHugh to conclude that surgical reassignment “fundamentally cooperat[es] with a mental illness,” and that the best interests of patients are served by “trying to fix their minds and not their genitalia.”

More telling, and tragic, was what Dr. McHugh learned about boys born with defective genitalia who underwent sex-change operations.

Despite female genitalia, hormone injections, and being socialized as girls as prescribed by APA-vetted clinicians, most of the boys reported being trapped in the wrong body and exhibited male-like attitudes and interests.

One was a male twin raised as a girl, who, after learning of his genetic gender, restored himself back as a male. Eventually, the young man experienced severe depression and committed suicide.

It has been over a decade since Dr. McHugh published his findings, and the idiocy of gender identity continues apace with, as a current meme puts it, children too young to choose their bedtime empowered to choose their gender.

Editor’s note: Pictured above is Dr. “Rachel” Levine at the podium and Pennsylvania governor Tom Wolf in the background.


  • Regis Nicoll

    Regis Nicoll is a retired nuclear engineer and a fellow of the Colson Center who writes commentary on faith and culture. He is the author of Why There Is a God: And Why It Matters.

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